- Step 1: Get thee to a doctor — "Before you even attempt to put anything on acne to cover it up, you have to seek the advice of a dermatologist," explains L'Oréal consulting makeup artist (and Project Runway beauty consultant), Collier Strong. "And then when they say that it's OK to start wearing makeup, then you can start to conceal the acne."
- Step 2: Color correct or conceal — If the breakout is intense or spans a large area, Strong recommends that you first use a green color corrector, such as L'Oréal's Studio Secrets Color Correcting Primer ($13), lightly dabbing it on with a sponge. But for a single pimple or two, a thick concealer dipped in a Q-tip or clean, small brush will do the trick. Tip: "If you don't have a thick concealer, you can mix it with a little bit of loose powder and you can even create it," Strong suggests.
- Step 3: Foundation — "A single pimple or two is a much easier problem, and you don't have to worry about foundation," explains Strong. However, for larger breakouts, first allow the color corrector to dry a minute or so, and then apply as little foundation as possible to create a flawless finish. Just be sure the foundation leans toward a yellow undertone. "What that's going to do here is neutralize the red, and everything we're doing here is to neutralize the redness," he advises.
- Step 4: Powder — Now, simply set your work with a light dusting of powder. "Don't get carried away with it, because it's going to make your skin look thick and chalky and dry," Strong adds.
- Step 5: Customize — To further distract from the acne, add a bit of a shimmer to the cheek, and then use makeup to play up one of your features. "It's the art of distraction," says Strong, adding, "Refocus. Take the focus to your eyes; take the focus to your lips. Take it away from the skin condition." To play up the lips, wear a bright lipstick, but avoid intense reds, which can just add to the already-there ruddiness. But beware: for chin breakouts, stick with a neutral lipstick and avoid lip gloss, which, because of it's shininess, can bring attention to the wrong area. For cheek or forehead breakouts, though, gloss is just fine.